Toccata and Fugue in d minor
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Arranged for Flute Choir by Shaul Ben-Meir
Scored for 6 C Flutes, 2 Alto Flutes, 2 Bass Flutes and Contrabass Flute
Includes score and parts
Of all the memorable pieces that J.S. Bach composed, perhaps one stands out a little more than the rest – the famous Toccata and Fugue in d minor, one of the most well-known and recognizable works in the organ repertoire. As with much of Bach’s music for organ, no autograph manuscript exists, but the probable time of composition is between 1703 and 1707.
The work begins with a free-form Toccata, and improvisatory-style piece used as a prelude. This work is one of Bach’s most original creations, and one of the most free in form. It probably began life as an improvisation by the master himself in St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig. The word toccata comes from the Italian word “touched” and it was originally a piece designed to show off the player’s touch and skill. The toccata was often built on a brilliant, rapid flow of sixteenth notes, and that form has had an enduring appeal.
The similarity of the tone production and timbre of the flute to that of the organ makes this arrangement compatible for the flute orchestra. In this arrangement, some of the the musical lines are reconstructed to overcome the flute’s technical limitations and facilitate the melodic flow.